How Working a 9-5 Can Lead You to Entrepreneurship

How Working a 9-5 Can Lead You to Entrepreneurship

So many of us are trying to find a way of escape a means for leaving behind the world of the 9-5. Many women feel conflicted over whether or not pursuing their passion is something feasible when the weight of the world that we’ve built seems to overload us at times. There’s bills, commitments, a family, or even just excuses that we use to create justifications for leaving things “the way they are”.

But all hope is not lost. The road to entrepreneurship can seem long, when you’re under the confines of a job that feels dissatisfying. In fact, the 2014 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report states that two important drivers of entrepreneurial intentions are self fulfillment or the possibility to realize own ideas and independence from an employer, or being my own boss. So, the longing for something greater can ultimately lead you to your something greater.

Here’s my question: is the 9-5 really so bad? I say NO. In fact, I believe that working a typical “9-5” can be the gateway to an amazing life of entrepreneurship. Here’s how:

  1. Dissatisfaction on the job tends to call for change.When you find yourself frustrated with your status quo, most of us will search for a way of escape. In that search for an escape, passion for something more/greater tends to arise and the discovery process begins.
  2. Building a skill set that contributes to someone else’s vision makes you feel empowered to go after your own.When you feel like you’ve invested time and energy into someone else’s empire, you subconsciously gain a desire to invest those very resources into your own legacy. It sets you on the road to entrepreneurship.
  3. Feeling stagnant during the day can send you into overdrive at night. Feeling complacent in your current work environment serves as a stimulus to create an outside work environment where you feel ignited. At the end of the day, we want to feel good about the contribution that we make. We want to feel stimulated.
  4. The desire for freedom creates the drive to set a plan in motion. Working on someone else’s terms can feel like oppression when your heart longs to be free. Most people will begin to establish their “Way of escape” or exit plan in search of something greater.

I can recall one of my stints in a 9-5, where I was the brand manager for a highly established and reputable retailer. I loved the people, but boy did I hate the job. I believe the job was perfect for someone else, but for me it was just a “job”. I’ve never wanted to work a job, I’ve always wanted to work my dreams, so you can only imagine the excruciating pain I would feel each day fulfilling someone else’s vision and neglecting my own.

My way of escape began with my utter dissatisfaction with my co managers, culture, and investment of my time. I couldn’t fathom spending my lifetime building the empire of a brand that I had little respect for. Yes, I had built a skill set that I knew would serve me across multiple verticals in brand management, but I didn’t want my story to end the way it was going. I shifted my gears and started to plan for my exit. I began gathering as much brand and management intelligence as possible so that I wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel. I worked 9-5 during the day, ate dinner, and jumped right back into work until the wee hours of the morning. What was I doing? I was maintaining by day and building at night.

Working that particular 9-5 confirmed everything that I felt in my heart and knew that I needed to accomplish. While the circumstances weren’t the most ideal, I considered the time spent there educational training for the life that awaited me. There was no time lost, it was only time invested.

By the end of my time there, I had begun my first joint venture into business as the owner of Milk and Honey Card Collection, a series of contemporary Christian greeting cards with simple messaging from scripture passages. My business partner and I (now my husband) spent tireless nights getting the card collection established while working during the day. Each day that I spent contributing at my former company, I grew stronger sense of certainty around my need to create my own entity. We grew Milk & Honey to over 15 retail locations in less than one year, but later closed it down to concentrate on building a larger brand.

The lessons I learned at my 9-5 were so powerful. I learned many of the systems, processes, and best practices that I advise clients on today. My resilience and strength through adversity gave me the tough skin that I need to manage the rejection that comes along with entrepreneurship. And, my passion was ignited as I began to imagine the type of work environment I wanted to build for others, and the message that my brand would share with the world. All of this came out of my dissatisfaction, my developed skill set, my nocturnal business development, and my power exit plan.

Maybe you can’t leave your job and do everything now. Maybe you do need a little time to muster up the courage, the will, and the strategy to say yes to your dreams. All of that is ok as long as you commit to doing something each day that takes you further along the way.

“If you cant fly then run, if you cant run then walk, if you cant walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Consider the idea that your current 9-5 is one stop on your road to destiny. Never give in to the idea that you’ll never “make it happen”. Assume that this particular stage in your journey is a huge part of the “making it happen” that you need to be successful as an entrepreneur.

Now, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Why am I dissatisfied on my job? What about this position makes me so unhappy?
  2. How can my dissatisfaction be used to transform my world and the world around me?
  3. What skill sets have I acquired in my 9-5 career that will one day be useful in my future as an entrepreneur?
  4. How can I utilize my personal hours as time to invest in the building of my new venture?
  5. What is an exit plan that I can commit to?

Before you make any major moves, take the time to make sure that you’re emotionally prepared for what lies ahead. Be clear about your intentions now and how they can serve you in the future. Have a vision for how you will move forward with no regrets on the time you’ve spent supporting another company or legacy. Make that part of your story the most compelling part, as it may surely lead you to your own life in entrepreneurship.

About the author


Sybil Clark-Amuti

Sybil Clark-Amuti is a branding expert and mompreneur. Sybil serves as co-host of The Great Girlfriends Show a podcast that connects women with solutions for living a passionate life. Sybil lives in NJ with her husband and two kids.

Leave a Comment